Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik
|Role||Unmanned combat aerial vehicle|
|First flight||3 August 2019|
|Primary user||Russian Air Force|
|Number built||1 flyable prototype|
|Program cost||RUB1.6 billion|
|Developed from||Mikoyan Skat|
|Russian MoD Okhotnik coverage|
The Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (Russian: Сухой С-70 "Охотник", lit. 'Hunter'), also referred to as Okhotnik-B, is a Russian stealth heavy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) being developed by Sukhoi as a sixth-generation aircraft project. The drone is based on the earlier Mikoyan Skat, designed by MiG, and encompassing some technologies of the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet.
The Okhotnik has been under development since at least 2011, when Sukhoi was selected by the Russian Defence Ministry to lead a programme for a new heavy unmanned reconnaissance and attack drone. The new UCAV is being jointly developed by MiG and Sukhoi, based on data of the earlier Mikoyan Skat UCAV programme. The work is carried out by the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO), part of the Sukhoi company. In the documents, the drone is characterised as a "sixth-generation unmanned aerial vehicle".
In November 2018, the drone performed first series of taxiing, speeding and stopping tests in fully autonomous mode at a runway of the NAPO plant. During the runs, it has reached a maximum speed of 200 km/h.
On 18 January 2019, the third flyable Su-57 prototype (bort no. 053) was spotted wearing a new digital camouflage paint scheme, with digital silhouette of the Okhotnik on its top and underside and a unique markings on the vertical tail showing the shape of a UCAV flying alongside the shape of Su-57 with a lightning bolt (universally used to show electronic connectivity and data sharing) between the two. On 24 January 2019, first flyable prototype of the drone was seen towed at the NAPO plant. According to Russian officials, the Su-57 is being used as a flying laboratory for the testing of the Okhotnik's avionics systems.
In late May 2019, Okhotnik performed a series of flight tests during which the drone flew several meters above a runway of the NAPO plant.
On 3 August 2019, Okhotnik performed its maiden flight. The drone flew for about 20 minutes at an altitude of 600 meters above Chkalov State Flight Test Center in Akhtubinsk, and made several circles around the airfield. On August 7, the Russian Defence Ministry released a video of the first flight.
On 27 September 2019, Russian MoD released a video showcasing the first flight of Okhotnik alongside Su-57. Reportedly the UAV operated autonomously and flew for more than 30 minutes interacting with the Su-57 to test extending the fighter’s radar and target designation range for use of long-range air-launched weapons from the outside of enemy air defenses.
The Okhotnik's design is based on the flying-wing scheme and incorporates use of composite materials and stealth coatings, making the drone low-observable in flight. It has a weight of about 20 tons and a wingspan around 65 feet (20 m). The drone is powered either by a single AL-31F turbofan, as used on the Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft, or by the improved AL-41F derivative installed on Su-35S fighters and Su-57 prototypes. Although the first prototype's exhaust nozzle was conventional and could increase the drone's radar signature, future upgrade could see improved exhaust as well as engine inlet as shown by a mock up at the 2019 MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon. The maximum speed of the drone is reportedly 1,000 km/h while carrying its payload internally. It is likely the Okhotnik was designed to act as a "loyal wingman" controlled by the Su-57.
Specifications (Sukhoi S-70)
- Crew: none
- Wingspan: 20 m (65 ft)
- Empty weight: 20,000 kg (44,092 lb) not verified
- Powerplant: 1 × Saturn AL-31F or AL-41F, 123–147 kN (28,000–33,000 lbf) with afterburner
- Maximum speed: 1,000 km/h (620 mph, 540 kn)
- Range: 6,000 km (3,700 mi, 3,200 nmi)
- 2 internal weapons bays for up to 2,000 kg of guided and unguided ammunition
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Hongdu GJ-11
- Boeing X-45
- Northrop Grumman X-47B
- Boeing Phantom Ray
- Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel
- Northrop Grumman RQ-180
- Dassault nEUROn
- BAE Systems Taranis
- Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie
- "Russian heavy strike drone Okhotnik makes first flight". TASS. 3 August 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
- "Batch deliveries of Okhotnik drones expected to begin in 2025". airrecognition.com. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- "В США российский "Охотник" назвали выдумкой". lenta.ru. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- "Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B". globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Новые детали НИР "Охотник-Б" и проекта беспилотного летательного аппарата С-70". bmpd.livejournal.com. 30 July 2017. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "RSK MiG will work together with Sukhoi on a future unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), using experience gained on its Skat programme". Flight Global. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- "Источник: системы БПЛА "Охотник" испытывают на Су-57". TASS. 29 January 2019. Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Russia's attack drone prototype to start test flights this year". TASS. 8 July 2018. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Under PAK FA's Auspices: Russia Develops 'Flying-Wing' Strike Drone". Sputnik (news agency). 30 July 2017. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Источник: тяжёлый беспилотник "Охотник" на испытаниях разогнался на полосе до 200 км/ч". TASS. 23 November 2018. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Russian Okhotnik combat drone develops speed of up to 200 km at trials". armyrecognition.com. 26 November 2018. Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Trevithick, Tyler Rogoway and Joseph. "Is This Russia's 'Hunter' Stealthy Flying Wing Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle?". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- "Фотография первого прототипа беспилотного летательного аппарата по теме "Охотник"". bmpd.livejournal.com. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Российский стелс-беспилотник "Охотник" впервые поднялся в воздух". interfax.ru. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- "Первый полет новейшего беспилотного летательного аппарата "Охотник"". 7 August 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- "Russia Releases S-70 Okhotnik Flight Video". ainonline.com. 8 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
- "Russia's Okhotnik UAV makes first flight with Su-57". janes.com. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "First photos published of Russia's secret Okhotnik strike drone". rbth.com. 8 February 2019. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Russia Prepares To Flight-test the Sukhoi S-70 UCAV". ainonline.com. 25 January 2019. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- Rogoway, Joseph Trevithick and Tyler. "Full Analysis Of The First Flight Of Russia's 'Hunter' Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- Rogoway, Tyler. "Russia's Sukhoi Shows Off Stealthier Vision For Its "Hunter" Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-08-26.